Monday, February 19, 2007

Doomed to a life in cyberspace!

I was informed yesterday that one of my best friends is having to move her family to Minneapolis/ St. Paul. A pretty far cry from Texas! I am excited for her because it is a great opportunity for her husband to advance in his company. And I have learned that once you make that commitment to be a stay-at-home mom and you leave your career behind, you have to buck up and be prepared to support your hubby any way possible. After all, he is the one affording you the lifestyle to stay at home and raise your children.

I am bummed beyond belief, as I really felt like we were settling into a good friendship. I am one of those people that has many aquaintances, but few friends. Ever since the birth of my son 5 years ago and the move to Texas I have led a somewhat hermitic lifestyle. My hubby had "insta-friends" here and they were nice enough to introduce me to people, but most of these women do not have kids and therefore it has been hard to cultivate relationships with them. I'm not saying that I can't be friends with people who don't have kids, but I do have to admit that childless people don't even remotely understand the constraints that children put on your life. Or maybe they do and that is why they rarely include me in spontaneous shopping trips on Saturday afternoons. It is just assumed that I am not available because of the kids. Long story short...I just find it easier to be around other mothers. But it has been hard clique-ing with many of the other moms in my area. As it turns out, Texas is a pretty conservative place and many homeschooling moms here have chosen that path because of their Christian values. I am pretty damn far from that end of the spectrum. I completely respect their values and I enjoy seeing them and visiting with them at park days for the kids, but they aren't necessarily the women I would seek to hang out with on a regular basis. However, my friend that is moving, she's different, open-minded, well-traveled, boisterous, outgoing, and most of all...very much like me. Not only in her interests, but in her situation. She too is a bit of a hermit and understands how hard it is to put yourself out there and to actually be YOURSELF. And we had found that we could be OURSELVES around one another and it was quite exhilarating! Not to mention the fact that our children ADORE each other. You just couldn't get a much better match for a friendship!

But alas...she has to go. And I will, of course, continue to correspond with her via the internet, along with my dear friend in OR, my college friend in NY, my three best friends from high school in NM and my dear friend in MI. I am doomed to a life of cyber-relations! So while most friends are out having drinks together on Friday nights, I will be at my desk, typing emails to my very best friends in far away places! I will just hope that she doesn't forget me and time and distance don't make our friendship fade, because I will miss her and her family very much! Good luck girl and give Minnesota hell, aye?!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Calgon....take me away!

It is now 11am and I have been under siege from my 5 y.o. since 8am! Under siege you ask? Yes, I have been bombarded by noise for HOURS!!! First it was his L-Max, which has to be run at maximum volume (that's what the MAX stands for!), then came the i-Dog blaring guitar licks that seem straight out of a Joan Jett rock anthem. I implored him to turn off both of these things as we have a new rule in the house that NO noisy toys are allowed before 9am or after 9pm. So he was willing to follow the rules and shut them down. But who says you have to have electronic devices to make noise?!? Then came the harmonica, the recorder, his sister's doggy xylophone, his toy drum, the list goes on. So I decide...A-ha! bathtime! That will quiet him down for sure. Yeah right. There is splashing, singing, bird calls, toys banging on the side of the tub...did I mention the impressive repertoire of farty noises! He finally exits the tub, it is now after 9 and he knows that noisy toys are legal now, but instead opts to go for his little video camera. This is nice. He is walking around quietly, at first, filming various and assundry items, then it starts, the singing. But here's the kicker...not only is he singing (at the top of his lungs mind you) but he is recording these squawkings!!! So now I am treated to the original version, followed by replay after replay after replay!! Now I will admit that the first time or two hearing my son belt out David Lee Roth's version of "Tobacco Road" is nothing short of hysterical, but after the 6th, 7th, 12th time it is enough to turn any sane person into a trembling, drooling, incoherent mess! So here I sit in my closet, wrapped tightly with a polar fleece sweater, rocking back and forth, sucking my thumb, wondering why moon pies are so light and fluffy.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sins of the father

I should have known from the beginning that it was futile. I saw nothing that proved to me that he was capable of stepping up and doing the right thing, but I did it anyway. I allowed my father to be a part of my son's life. I thought it would be different. I know I can't change all the bullshit between me and him, but I thought, since he had ALWAYS hoped for a boy and never gotten one, that he would somehow miraculously love my son the way he was never able to love me. A foolish girl's dream, now a nightmare.

My dad can be a wonderfully funny and charming man. My son fell for him with every ounce of his little heart. And I did everything I could to cultivate a strong, healthy relationship between them only to watch it all blow up in my face. But this time I wasn't the casualty, this time it was my son. Due to alot of bullshit that I won't get into here, I had to step back from my father and his crazy circumstance. His life is poison to me and my family, alcoholism, depression, a succubus wife that smiles to your face and stabs you in the back when you look away. But worst of all, the absolute lack of effort on his part to see his grandson. As of 3 days ago, it has been over a year since he saw my son (or me for that matter) and it was 7 months before that. Not to mention the fact that he has yet to try to contact me to see his granddaughter who is now 7 months old!

I will absolutely admit that it breaks my heart that once he and my mother divorced I was out of sight out of mind. He didn't want a relationship with me to save his life. In fact, I didn't see or speak to the man for 7 years. Then, out of some weird sense of obligation to my grandmother (who I adore) I made the move to try to repair my relationship with my father. Things seemed to go OK for awhile and I was optimistic. Then I had my son and we actually moved to the same city as my father about 8 months later. I knew that things were still a little shaky between us, but I didn't want to deny him an opportunity to know his grandson. I now regret that decision with EVERY fiber of my being!!

After the baby was put down for the night, I came in to read bedtime stories to my son and to be honest, I'm not exactly sure how the conversation started but he asked about his Pa-Pa and why he never called anymore. I don't want to lie to him, yet I don't want to hurt his feelings, so I explained that I didn't know why he didn't call anymore but that if his Pa-Pa wanted to reach us, he knew our number. "Will he ever come to see me again?" I told him I didn't know. Then the kicker, "Did I do something to make him not love me anymore?" (with tears in his little eyes, mind you). I scooped him up in my arms and cried too and told him that he ABSOLUTELY did nothing wrong. I tried to explain that it isn't that his Pa-Pa doesn't love him, he just has no clue how to love anyone, including himself. Then I did my best to explain how there are SO many other people in his life that love him. And to hit that point home, I got the phone and called his other grandfather who would go to the ends of the earth to see my little boy. After talking to his Poppa, he went to bed a happy, little boy again. My son is so lucky to have 3 other grandparents that adore him and his baby sister!

But the fact remains, I allowed this crap to happen. I opened the door and allowed that man into my life and worst of all into my son's. The baby, well she's lucky, I saw the light shortly after she was born and he's never made the effort to see her anyway. She'll never miss what she's never known. But my son remembers. He remembers laughing with his Pa-Pa, he remembers playing in the yard with Pa-Pa's dogs, he remembers having Pa-Pa try to "get some belly-button". It kills me to look into his big, blue eyes and see the hurt and confusion because he only knows about the good stuff. He's too young to understand the drunkenness and dysfunction. So now I pay for the sins of my father yet again because I am the one who has to see my son cry. I am the one who has to explain why. And I am the one who has to live everyday knowing that my son hurts because I wanted so desperately to be loved by my father.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The problem with my mortality.

Have you ever had one of those instances when you narrowly escaped being creamed by a semi or you witness a car crash that happens 3 seconds after you clear the intersection?? Or maybe if you've had someone close to you die young for stupid reasons? All of those things have the tendency to snap your attention to your own life, your own mortality. I had one of those instances yesterday.

My son was in the kitchen doing his reading lesson for the day, my baby was asleep upstairs and I had come in to check my e-mail. I had been having a continuous pain in my chest for a couple of hours, but assumed it was just one of those lung catch things, you know, when you have to take a deep breath in order to pop that lung off the rib cage? Anyway, when I sat down to the computer I all of a sudden felt pain, tightness in the chest, dizziness and when I went to stand up, I was on the verge of unconsciousness. I had a very distinct feeling that I was dying alone in my house with my children. I did manage to get up, I did manage to get help and things are fine, but my uneasiness still remains. They were unable to tell me what the problem was in the ER, so I have no idea if this will happen again or if it was an isolated incident. Either way though, I was slapped in the face with my own mortality, BIG TIME!

All I can remember thinking is, "I CANNOT die, not with two small children!" And I have been a basket case ever since. I know that we will all die. I try not to think about it, but I know it's the case. What I don't like, is this sense of foreboding. The fear that I will just keel over and leave my children without a mother. Some horrible cosmic joke where I get everything I could have ever wanted (we're not talking money here, we're talking the two most amazing children, a truly wonderful husband, a supportive family, and even a big, dumb dog) only to die and leave all I ever dreamt of behind. Now I know there is the argument of salvation and everlasting happiness in heaven, but the thought of leaving my children motherless, not being able to watch them grow up, not being able to meet my grandchildren, I honestly have to say that it is hard for me to imagine that everlasting happiness is possible when everything I love is here. I will be the first to admit, I am not the most devout person in the world, in fact when it comes to religion, I question a great many things. I was raised in the age of science and it is hard for me to not question everything. I truly HOPE there is an afterlife, I HOPE that we are reunited with our loved ones and I HOPE there is eternal joy and happiness after you die. But I would give it all up to look, even one more time, into the eyes of my beautiful baby to see the unconditional love and trust that she has for me. To be able to hold and kiss my son when he has accomplished something great or when he has fallen down and skinned his knee. To hear my baby say "Mama" and "Dada" or to watch my son learn how to ride his bike or read his favorite book. Even the most ridiculous things like seeing the crooked, little smile my son gets when he's nervous, or the high-pitched squealing noises he makes while sliding down the slide at the park. Or what about the look of surprise when you play peek-a-boo with the baby, the smell of her hair after a bath, the stinky face she makes when you feed her zucchini? Not to mention watching my hubby rough-house with the boy or seeing him sit the baby on the bathroom counter so he can make faces in the mirror with her.

The problem is...I HAVE found heaven on earth, and it scares the hell out of me to think about not having it anymore!